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Hello,

I want to provide a detailed review after my first 2 years of ownership of my wonderful tank (I meant Touareg).

Before getting into the details, I want to disclose my knowledge level. I don't claim to be an technical expert, I am merely car lover, who is fortunate to have worked thru his college years as a valet in Boston, US and a rental car agent. In my work career i have driven upwards of 20,000 cars I can compare the Touareg to all his competitors.

2 years ago, I was considering buying our first Touareg. I was reading about all the possible problems and I was very nervous. Here in the US they charge ridiculous amount of money for labor. Even worse, most shops don't work on German cars. So you are hard pressed to opt for the dealer (stealer). Anyway we bought a beautiful 2008 VR6 Treg with Air and all options...except heated steering wheel. It was 65K miles (104K km).

I will try to keep my review as short as possible, but how do you describe pure love in a short paragraph?!

First, the driving feel is amazing. Except high end and extremely expensive SUVs (X5M, AMG or Jaguar) nothing else can match the mate achieved by the engine and the gearbox. The VR6 engine really revs beautifully and the gearbox makes it sing a wonderful song. There is zero lag, the gears are coming easy and short and swift changes happen upon acceleration. I am absolutely convinced there is no SUV under $50K to match this performance. This car drives more like a sports car, than a big heavy offroad worthy SUV.

There were 4 main problems that came to my list when researching this vehicle of choice: 1. Front hub bearing 2. Eating its brakes 3. Xenon lights failures 4. Air suspension failures.

I am happy to report that in the past 2 years and 12.5K miles (20K km) I had 0 problems with those areas or any other failures. I have NOT spent any money of problems or maintenance (obviously excluding oil changes). I had only one problem when I had gas leak from the fuel tank and fuel pump or a joint between them. It cost me $628 to fix. However 3 months later I received a notice that there was a factory recall on this problem and I received my money back from VW America. So be advised if you had this problem, you are entitled to this reimbursement.

I just came back from the first major road trip with my Treg. 2000 miles between the frozen land of Boston-Montreal-Toronto-Niagara Falls-Boston. I had to drive in almost constant heavy snow fall with freezing temperatures outside. I am rolling on Michelin LTX, which is the first ever All season tire I dare to conquer a winter. I am originally form Europe, which is almost mandatory to have dedicated winter (snow) tires. The amount of grip and sense of security that the Treg and the tires provided is unmatched. I have never felt that secure driving in winter/snow conditions. In Montreal they usually wait until the night to scoop all the snow from the streets, which creates a lot of fun driving experience. I had to climb over 1 foot deep piles of heavy snow to find parking. The Treg just went with no hesitation. It was amazingly fun to perform small power slides on most street corners (please be advised that it was Christmas, so there was minimal traffic, no people or animals were harmed 0:)).

On other hand 1 year ago I was involved in a heavy crash. A crazy driver hit us on the highway. He was going crazy speed and lost control, hit the guard rail and then came flying over 70 MPH (112kph) into the right side of our Treg. Fortunately all 4 of us in the car were fine. The Treg sustained heavy front door damager since he T-boned us, but was drivable and no structural damage. Both the other two cars involved had to be towed and some people needed minor doctors' attention. I am telling you this, because when you are in a Treg, you are effectively in a tank. I was very tankful to the German engineering for keeping us safe that night.

The bottom line is that this an amazing car. I love it and I am already looking to buy the next model 2011 when my other car (a Toyota Solara convertible) decides it is time.

There is only one thing I dislike. There is no option to blow hot air to the windshield and your feet or yourself. You have to choose between the windshield or yourself. I found myself switching every 15 minutes during my long trip. Since the constant snowfall I did bring plenty of moisture inside the cabin, so when I was not directing the air to the windshield, it was getting foggy. And when I was the side windows will get foggy or my feet will be cold. There was almost no winning, until all the moisture in the car was gone and I put the air towards the side windows and my froze feet.

One minor problem is the sunroof. Similarly to my 2006 Passat, there is some electrical or physical switch problem where the sunroof will prop open on its own. This is annoying if you don't catch it. I am sure there is an easy solution to fix that, but i haven't gotten to this point.

I hope all of you future owners of Tregs, find my review helpful.

On a sad note, i want to note that I have used the low range gearbox once, just because i wanted to play with it. I have no use for it in the state where I live :frown2: So i feel pretty confident that I will not miss this feature at the 2011 model, but will enjoy the fuel economy improvement from the lack of it.

Lastly, I had a funny experience. I am sure that a more knowledgeable expert will explain the reason for that. I went sliding at the mall parking lot after one blizzard. After 15 minutes of amazing fun power sliding I had no brakes. I am not sure why was that. Either the rotors got extremely cold from the snow drifting or overheated from the 4 motion system touching the brakes for me. I was sliding with the traction system off, obviously. Basically don't be surprised if you loose your brakes for 10-15 minutes after extensive sliding/spinning all tires.
 

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One minor problem is the sunroof. Similarly to my 2006 Passat, there is some electrical or physical switch problem where the sunroof will prop open on its own. This is annoying if you don't catch it. I am sure there is an easy solution to fix that, but i haven't gotten to this point.
Ha! I thought that was only a C4 Audi thing...

A number of years ago, I bought a winter beater from a friend in Concord, NH...a '95 A6 avant. I was just starting to get the feel of the car when I got on the highway, 93 South, heading back to Boston. All of a sudden, pffft, the sunroof pops up. Ah, there we go, the C4 A6 quirk...we're going to get along just fine. :)
 

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surprised about your interior fogging problem. make sure your A/C button is on, as it drys out the air, and the recirculating inside air button is off. most winter fogging occurs when recirculating moist interior air. another trick is leave the window down just a crack when the vehicle is parked-the cold dry winter air will absorb the moist interior air and prevent fogging the next time you drive your vehicle.

hope this helps.
 

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Cool update/review. I just acquired my used 2008 Treg with air suspension this past November and so far I'm really digging it. I just replaced all the interior lights with LED's which really makes it nice. My one minor issue I'm going to try to fix this weekend is that the windshield fluid pump does not work. I poured a half gallon of water into the reservoir and it doesn't leak but no spray. My Treg also came with Michilen LTX A/T's but unfortunately they're pretty much worn out. I'm going to save for some Falken Wildpeak A/T3's which have great reviews and much less expensive than the other brands. Hoping to get a a few road trips this year and a little off roading. :clap:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
surprised about your interior fogging problem. make sure your A/C button is on, as it drys out the air, and the recirculating inside air button is off. most winter fogging occurs when recirculating moist interior air. another trick is leave the window down just a crack when the vehicle is parked-the cold dry winter air will absorb the moist interior air and prevent fogging the next time you drive your vehicle.

hope this helps.

Thanks for the tip. The circulation was off, but the AC was also off. I did not think that the AC kicks in at all when trying to heat the car, so I did not know that the drying effect will take place. I will try and see what happens.
 

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Thanks for the tip. The circulation was off, but the AC was also off. I did not think that the AC kicks in at all when trying to heat the car, so I did not know that the drying effect will take place. I will try and see what happens.
Yes. The ac compressor runs in a low power mode to dehumidify the air and it makes a huge difference.

Also it makes sure that the ac oil is circulated in the winter months. This is very important for long life of the system.

So, it is a double win.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hello everyone,
posting my third year review of my ownership.

The Treg now has 84,800 miles. I noticed a whistling type noise when the engine was running and brought it for inspection at Kelly VW in Boston. They found a leak in the valve cover gasket. Recommended a replacement and quoted me $1100 for parts and labor. I have a 3rd party warranty that covers most repairs partially and the dealer called them to open a case. While the inspector was looking at this problem they noticed that the bushing on the front rear control arms were cracked and approved the replacement. Total repair cost $2300 and the warranty company paid $1500, so I had to cover $800 or so.
Conclusion:
3 years and 20,000 miles in city traffic
1. valve cover gasket leak
2. control arms bushings

In my book this is an amazing reliability. Please let me know what do you think/experience.
 

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I just sold back my 2010 and agree with your review. I had no air suspension and even with the extra height I was so impressed after my first test drive on the highway that I went for it. I couldn't believe the acceleration at highway speeds and the handling was very precise. I had no costs other than oil change and brakes once during the 2.5 year 90,000km ownership. Having said that, I expedited my return when I too started hearing the turbo whine and got a low coolant light. I had to add about 2 liters of coolant and it was fine after.

I bought a 2013 and even though I love the new one I do miss the tank-like feel of the 2010. We had a couple of dumps of snow here recently and I drove it through side streets with snow mounds pushed aside by traffic. I intentionally drove through these piles which were over a foot high in some places and the 2010 just plowed right through it like it wasn't there. While I am going to miss it, the 2013 handles like a race car and since I never took mine off road I can live without the tank-like feel in favour of a bit more civilized road manors. Though I have yet to drive the 2013 in significant snow my wife drove it home after one of the snow dumps and she had no complaints which means the car handled it without batting an eye. Slow traffic due to the snow did triple her commute time but she had no issues.

I would recommend the 2013 over the 2011 if you can afford it due to the extra power and weight savings.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I could not agree with you more! The tank like feeling is superb, but it comes handy very rarely. I was plowing the snow in Canada last Christmas the same way as you mentioned on the side streets. I was in Montreal and Toronto and it did not stop snowing. It was amazing feeling, but I agree the next generation is more civilized. They are dropping in price now in the US. You can get a 2013/14 for $12,000-13,000. May be in a year I will switch them. I have never used the low range gearbox except to mess around in some deep snow on purpose. In Massachusetts we do not have any legal trails for offroading, or at least they are not well known. We have couple of beaches you can drive on, but there is 20 line items that you must carry with you and one of them is a full size spare, which makes it impossible for Tregs to go on. So no offroading :(
 
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